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IY5F34 

1922 
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ROBARTS 



THE FAIRY FLUTE 



BY THE SAME AUTHOR 

FAIRIES AND CHIMNEYS 
THE FAIRY GREEN 



THE FAIRY FLUTE 



BY 



ROSE FYLEMAN 

AUTHOR OF "FAIRIES AND CHIMNEYS" 



SECOND EDITION 



METHUEN & CO. LTD. 

36 ESSEX STREET W.C. 

LONDON 



First Published . . . October 6th 1921 
Second Editiott . . . 1922 



TO ALL 
MY NEPHEWS AND NIECES 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

CONSOLATION . . . . . -9 

IF YOU MEET A FAIRY . . . .II 

FAIRY LORE . . . . . .13 

EVERY FAIRY HAS A STAR . . . .15 

THE FAIRY LOVER . . . . .17 

THE FAIRY TAILOR . . . . . . ig 

AT DAWN . . . . . .22 

THE GREEN LOCH . . . . .24 

THE SKYLARK . . . . . .26 

IN BOND STREET . . . . .28 

TIMOTHY . . . . . .29 

FAIRY LULLABY FOR A MORTAL . . . 31 

THE CANARY . . . . . -33 

RAINY MORNING . . . . -35 

THIS is THE WAY THE FAIRIES SING . . 37 

THE FAIRY BALL . . . . .39 

USEFUL HINTS . . . . . .40 

THE FAIRY FLUTE . . . . -41 

THE APPLE-TREE . . . . -43 

A STRANGE PAIR . . . . .44 

THE WILLOW PRINCESSES . . . .46 

A VISITOR . . . . . -47 

THE LITTLE PRINCE t . . . .48 

TEMPER . . . . . .49 

BEST . . . . . . .51 

WHAT I SHALL BE . . . .52 

SOMETIMES . . . . . .53 

PREPARE ! . . . . ' . . 55 

A VOYAGE . . . . . .56 

A COMPLAINT . . . . . .58 

THE FAIRIES GIVE THANKS . . . .60 

7 



THE FAIRY FLUTE 

CONSOLATION 

You may be very ugly and freckledy and 

small 
And have a little stubby nose that's not a 

nose at all ; 
You may be bad at spelling and you may be 

worse at sums, 
You may have stupid fingers that your Nanna 

says are thumbs, 
And lots of things you look for you may 

never, never find, 
But if you love the fairies you don't mind. 

You may be rather frightened when you read 

of wolves and bears 
Or when you pass the cupboard-place beneath 

the attic stairs ; 



10 CONSOLATION 

You may not always like it when thunder 

makes a noise 
That seems so much, much bigger than little 

girls and boys ; 
You may feel rather lonely when you waken 

in the night, 
But if the fairies love you ifs all rigid. 



IF YOU MEET A FAIRY 

IF you meet a fairy 
Don't run away ; 
She won't want to hurt you, 
She'll only want to play. 

Show her round the garden, 
Round the house too, 
She'll want to see the kitchen 
(I know they always do). 

Find a tiny present 
To give her when she goes, 
They love silver paper 
And little ribbon bows. 

I knew a little girl once 
Who saw twenty-three 
Playing in the orchard 

As jolly as could be. 
11 



12 



They asked her to dance with them 
To make a twenty-four ; 
She ran to the nursery 
And hid behind the door. 

Hid behind the nursery door 
(What a thing to do !) 
She grew up very solemn 
And rather ugly too. 

If you meet a fairy 
Remember what I say, 
Talk to her nicely 
And don't run away. 



FAIRY LORE 

FAIRIES learn to dance before they learn to 

walk ; 
Fairies learn to sing before they learn to 

talk; 
Fairies learn their counting from the cuckoo's 

call ; 
They do not learn Geography at all. 

Fairies go a-riding with witches on their 

brooms 
And steal away the rainbows to brighten up 

their rooms ; 
Fairies like a sky-dance better than a 

feast ; 
They have a birthday once a week at 

least. 

is 



14 FAIRY LORE 

Fairies think the rain as pretty as the sun ; 
Fairies think that trespass-boards are only 

made for fun ; 
Fairies think that peppermint's the nicest 

thing they know ; 
I always take a packet when I go. 



EVERY FAIRY HAS A STAR 

EVERY fairy has a star 
Where all her tiny treasures are, 
And there her faithful gnome, 
As soon as she goes out at night 
Against the window sets a light 
To guide his lady home. 

And at the open door he stands 
And waves his little twinkling hands 
As down to earth she goes ; 
Then sits and waits the long night 

through, 

And sometimes sings a song or two 
And sometimes has a doze. 

But at the earliest crow of cock 

Back to the sky the fairies flock, 

And at their doors they stand and 

knock 

is 



16 EVERY FAIRY HAS A STAR 

(The air is keen and chill) 
They do not wait to see the sun ; 
Straight to their little beds they run ; 
The stars are darkened one by one 
And all the sky is still. 



THE FAIRY LOVER 

You walk in your orchard, you sit in your 

bower 

Mid plentiful treasure of fruit and of flower ; 
But you shall have pleasaunces brighter than 

these, 
With magical blossoms and magical trees. 

Your train is of damask, rich fold upon fold, 

Your gown is of crimson, your shoes are of 
gold; 

But a mantle of rainbows shall wrap you 
about, 

Besprinkled with star-dust within and with- 
out. 

Your ladies-in-waiting are gracious and fair 
And a little page stands by the side of your 

chair ; 

But an army of goblins shall do your behest 
And fly at your bidding to East and to West. 



18 THE FAIRY LOVER 

You shall sit on a cushion of velvety moss, 
Embroidered with sunbeams across and 

across, 
And a grasshopper chorus shall make you 

good cheer 
Or charm you with delicate lullabies, dear. 

I will tap at your window some moon-silvered 
night, 

And when you lean down through the jessa- 
mine white 

My fairy-swift wings I shall softly unfurl 

And bear you away to my palace of pearl. 



THE FAIRY TAILOR 

SITTING on the flower-bed beneath the holly- 
hocks 
I spied the tiny tailor who makes the fairies' 

frocks ; 

There he sat a-stitching all the afternoon 
And sang a little ditty to a quaint wee 

tune : 

" Grey for the goblins, blue for the elves, 
Brown for the little gnomes that live by 

themselves, 
White for the pixies that dance upon the 

green 

But where shall I find me a robe for the 
Queen ? " 

All about the garden his little men he 

sent, 
Up and down and in and out unceasingly 

they went. 

J 19 



20 THE FAIRY TAILOR 

Here they stole a blossom, there they pulled 

a leaf, 

And bound them up with gossamer into a 
glowing sheaf. 

Petals of the pansy for little velvet 
shoon, 

Silk of the poppy for a dance beneath the 
moon, 

Lawn of the jessamine, damask of the 
rose, 

To make their pretty kirtles and airy fur- 
belows. 

Never roving pirates back from Southern 

seas 
Brought a store of treasures home beautiful 

as these. 
They heaped them all about him in a sweet 

gay pile, 
But still he kept a-stitching and a-singing all 

the while : 

" Grey for the goblins, blue for the elves, 
Brown for the little gnomes that live by 

themselves, 



THE FAIRY TAILOR 21 

White for the pixies that dance on the 

green, 
But who shall make a royal gown to deck 

the Fairy Queen ? " 



AT DAWN 

THOUGH the fairies meet by night 

In the moonlit spaces, 
Often in the morning light 

You will see their traces ; 
If you rise at early dawn 

When the birds are waking, 
You may find upon the lawn 

Tents of fairy making. 

In the meadows here and there, 

Where the soft wind passes, 
Elfin lines of gossamer 

Stretch between the grasses ; 
And if you will look about 

Soon you will discover 
Fairy washing hanging out 

All among the clover. 

22 



AT DAWN 23 

In the quiet woods you might, 

If your ways be wary, 
Even hope to get a sight 

Of a little fairy 
On a lily-leaf, perchance, 

Broad and smooth and level, 
Practising her tiny dance 

For the evening revel. 



THE GREEN LOCH 

FAR in the hills the Green Loch lies, 

Its constant emerald mocks at the skies ; 

Though they be garmented grey or blue 

Never the Green Loch changes hue ; 

For at earliest dawn, when the winds are 

still, 

Over the brow of the western hill 
The fairies come in a happy throng 
With elfin laughter and elfin song 
Trooping down to the water-side 
To bathe in its cool enchanted tide. 
Over and under they flash about, 
They race with the shy little silver trout, 
They twist and tumble and dart and dive 
Till all the lake is alight and alive, 
And glows with a tremulous sparkling 

sheen 
Like the jewelled robe of an Eastern 

queen. 

24 



THE GREEN LOCH 25 

But ere the morning has well begun 
They all come leaping forth to the sun. 
They hang for a shimmering moment there 
Shaking their curls in the warm bright air, 
While the water drops from their delicate 

wings 

And dapples the lake with quivering rings, 
Then rise like thistledown over the trees 
And float away on the heather-sweet breeze. 

They leave not a sign, they leave not a trace, 
A slumberous calm lies over the place ; 
Only the green, green waters bide 
To tell the secret they never can hide. 



THE SKYLARK 

OF all the birds the fairies love the skylark 

much the best ; 
They come with little fairy gifts to seek his 

hidden nest. 
They praise his tiny slender feet and silken 

suit of brown, 
And with their gentle hands they smooth his 

feathers softly down. 

They cluster round with glowing cheeks and 

bright expectant eyes, 
Waiting the moment that shall bring the 

freedom of the skies ; 
Waiting the double-sweet delight that only 

he can give 
(Oh, kings might surely spurn their crowns to 

live as fairies live). 

26 



THE SKYLARK 27 

To ride upon a skylark's back between his 

happy wings, 
To float upon the edge of heaven and listen 

while he sings 
The dreams of mortals scarce can touch so 

perfected a bliss, 
And even fairies could not know a greater joy 

than this. 



IN BOND STREET 

UPON her little velvet hat 

A silken tassel hung, 
And to the very end of that 

A tiny fairy clung. 

Among her curls he bobbed about 

And played at hide-and-seek 
With every dimple that came out 

Upon her chin or cheek. 

This is a common sight perchance 

For Londoners to see ? 
It seemed to draw no curious glance 

From anyone but me. 

Along the street I watched her go 

Serenely unaware ; 
And still he tumbled to and fro 
(It seemed so strange she should not know) 

Among her golden hair. 

28 



TIMOTHY 

MY cat Timothy who has such lovely eyes 
Is really not a cat at all ; it's only a disguise. 
A witch cast a spell on him a long time since 
And changed him to a pussy-cat ; but once 
he was a Prince. 

On warm clear nights when a big moon is out 
He steps into the garden and never turns 

about, 
But walks down the path with his quiet 

proud air 
He knows that the fairies are waiting out 

there. 

The fairies go a-dancing, a-dancing in a ring, 
He sits in the middle with a crown like a 

king, 

High on a throne in the middle of the grass, 
And the fairies stop capering to curtsey as 

they pass. 

29 



30 TIMOTHY 

Some day, some day when the spell is done 
He will be a Prince again. Won't that be 

fun? 
He will come to seek me and kiss my lily 

hand 
And take me on his foaming steed to reign in 

fairyland. 



FAIRY LULLABY FOR A MORTAL 

SLEEP, oh sleep, for the night is still ; 
The friendly moon peers over the hill ; 
Cradled soft on the bosom of night 
Smiling she scatters her wistful light 
Where fairy lovers their trystings keep ; 
But the children of men must sleep, must 
sleep. 

Sleep, oh sleep, for your days are long ; 
The stars shall sing you a slumber-song 
Clear and bright as their silver flames, 
All made up of their own sweet names, 
Falling softly from star to star 
Mera, Murphid and Aladfar. 

Sleep, oh sleep ; with never a sound 
We will circle mazily round and around ; 
We will wrap you close in a web of dreams 
Shot with delicate fairy gleams ; 

31 



32 FAIRY LULLABY FOR A MORTAL 

With our soft, soft wings we will brush away 
The sorrowful darkness that comes with the 
day. 

Sleep, oh sleep, for the night grows late ; 
Over the hill our comrades wait. 
How can we go when the gifts we brought, 
For all our loving, have served you nought ? 
How can we leave you and know you weep ? 
Will you not hush you, and smile, and sleep ? 



THE CANARY 

HE used to be a fairy once, 

A little singing fairy ; 
He would not work, he would not play, 
He only sat and sang all day 

So now he's a canary. 

They sent him out of fairyland, 

They sent him here to me 
The day that I was six years old ; 
His little house of shining gold 

Hangs in the nursery. 

He's taught me lots of lovely things 

I never should have guessed ; 
He's told me what they say and do 
(They all have wings it's really true) 

And how the Queen is dressed. 
3 



34 THE CANARY 

He flits about the house at night 

A little lonely fairy ; 
But nobody is there to see, 
And no one knows excepting me 

He's not a real canary. 



RAINY MORNING 

As I was walking in the rain 
I met a fairy down a lane. 
We walked along the road together, 
I soon forgot about the weather. 
He told me lots of lovely things : 
The story that the robin sings, 
And where the rabbits go to school, 
And how to know a fairy pool, 
And what to say and what to do 
If bogles ever bother you. 

The flowers peeped from hedgy places 
And shook the raindrops from their faces, 
And furry creatures all the way 
Came popping out and said " Good-day." 
But when we reached the little bend, 
Just where the village houses end, 

86 



36 RAINY MORNING 

He seemed to slip into the ground, 
And when I looked about I found 
The rain was suddenly all over 
And the sun shining on the clover. 



THIS IS THE WAY THE FAIRIES SING 

THIS is the way the fairies sing : 

They all stand round in a shining ring 

On quiet nights when the moon is high, 

And lift their faces up to the sky. 

They read the music out of the stars, 

There aren't any notes and there aren't any 

bars. 

And sweet their song as the clover flower, 
And soft it is as a summer shower, 
And gay as leaves that the June airs shake, 
And sad as the mist on an autumn lake. 
None shall light on a lovelier thing 
Than the magical song that the fairies sing. 

This is the way the fairies dance : 

They point their toes and they leap and 

prance 

Over and under and round and round, 
Now in the air and now on the ground, 

37 



38 THE WAY THE FAIRIES SING 

In a shimmering, glimmering moon-lit maze 
To a wonderful music that nobody plays. 
And swift their dance as the coming of spring, 
And light as the touch of a butterfly's wing, 
And strange as the gleams in a stormy sky 
And changing-bright as the peacock's dye. 
Oh, lucky are you if you get the chance 
To learn the way that the fairies dance. 



THE FAIRY BALL 

" I AM asked to the ball to-night, to-night ; 
What shall I wear, for I must look right ? " 
" Search in the fields for a lady-smock ; 
Where could you find you a prettier frock ? " 

" I am asked to the ball to-night, to-night ; 
What shall I do for my jewels bright ? " 
" Trouble you not for a brooch or a ring, 
A daisy-chain is the properest thing." 

" I am asked to the ball to-night, to-night ; 
What shall I do if I shake with fright ? " 
" When you are there you will understand 
That no one is frightened in Fairyland." 



39 



USEFUL HINTS 

FAIRY flannel is the skin of peaches, 
Fairy brushes are the nuts of beeches, 
Velvet bulrushes are fairy pillows, 
Fairy muffs are made of pussy-willows. 



40 



THE FAIRY FLUTE 

MY brother has a little flute 

Of gold and ivory, 

He found it on a summer night 

Within a hollow tree. 

He plays it every morning 

And every afternoon, 

And all the little singing-birds 

Listen to the tune. 

He plays it in the meadows, 

And everywhere he walks 

The flowers start a-nodding 

And dancing on their stalks. 

He plays it in the village, 

And all along the street 

The people stop to listen, 

The music is so sweet. 

41 



42 THE FAIRY FLUTE 

And none but he can play it 
And none can understand, 
Because it is a fairy flute 
And comes from Fairyland. 



THE APPLE-TREE 

I STOOD beneath the apple-tree, 
The apples were so good to see ; 
Very high above my head 
I saw them shining round and red. 

A robin sang a tiny song, 
And after I had waited long 
A fairy in the apple-tree 
Threw an apple down to me. 



43 



A STRANGE PAIR 

THE witch, the witch that lives in the wood 
Is not very pretty and not very good ; 
Her face is brown and her eyes are black, 
A fierce old pussy-cat sits on her back 
With a sharp thin tail sticking up like a 

spire, 

While her mistress crouches over the fire, 
Be the day cold or be the day hot, 
Watching her strange little bubbling pot. 

The gobliny dwarf that lives on the hill 

He lies in the heather so still, so still. 

But on big dark nights when there isn't a 

moon 

He puts on his cloak and his dancing shoon 
And runs along like a soft shy mouse 
Till he comes to the door of the witch's house. 
" Ho ! " he cries, " it is junketing weather " ; 
And off they go on the spree together. 



A STRANGE PAIR 45 

Off they go on the tail of the wind : 
The great black pussy-cat sails behind. 
Haven't you heard them banging about ? 
Haven't you heard them whistle and shout ? 
Haven't you seen them now and again 
Peering in at the window-pane ? 
Oh, but I tell you it's better to hide 
When the witch and the goblin are out for a 
ride. 



THE WILLOW PRINCESSES 

THE tall princesses in the willow tree 
They move their lazy, lovely heads about, 
They wave their arms, their hair goes stream- 
ing out, 
Their rustling dresses shimmer like the sea. 

But presently they cease to sway and swing 
And stand quite still, and whisper gentle 

words, 

Quietly calling to the little birds 
To perch upon their pretty hands and sing. 



A VISITOR 

I HEARD a little tiny noise behind the cup- 
board door 

And something soft and small and quick 
flashed right across the floor. 

The day had very nearly gone and I could 
hardly see ; 

I do so wish that it would come again to visit 
me ; 

The whole day long I've looked and looked 
and looked about the house, 

/ think it was a fairy. Nurse thinks it was a 
mouse. 



THE LITTLE PRINCE 

MY mother is a queen and my father is a 
king 

And I have a garden with pretty birds that 
sing, 

Where pansies and marigolds and holly- 
hocks grow 

And four little apple-trees planted in a row. 

My father is a king and my mother is a queen 
And I have a little page dressed all in green, 
A treasure-mine in Barbary, an orange-grove 

in Spain, 
And a little brown monkey on a long gold 

chain. 



TEMPER 

" BLOW out the light," they said, they 

said 

(She'd got to the very last page) ; 
" Blow out the light," they said, they 

said, 

" It's dreadfully wicked to read in bed " ; 
Her eyes grew black and her face grew 

red 
And she blew in a terrible rage. 

She put out the moon, she did, she 

did, 

So frightfully hard she blew, 
She put out the moon, she did, she 

did; 

Over the sky the darkness slid, 
The stars all scuttled away and hid 

(A very wise thing to do). 
4 



50 TEMPER 

But please don't whisper the tale about, 

She'd get into trouble, she would ; 
Please don't whisper the tale about, 
If anyone else should ever find out 
She'd get into trouble without a doubt, 
And now she's ever so good. 



BEST 

I LIKE to wear my party frock 

That Auntie bought in town, 

My patent shoes with shiny toes, 

My Sunday hat with little bows, 

And ribbons hanging down. 

I like to hear the people say : 

" How pretty Nancy looks to-day ! " 

But Daddy shakes his head and says : 

" You'll make her very vain." 

And Grannie says : " She should be dressed 

In everything that's of the best 

But rather neat and plain." 

And Mother says : " My goodness me ! 

Who can this lovely lady be ? " 



51 



WHAT I SHALL BE 

I SHALL be a lady 
As pretty as you please, 
And I shall have a garden 
With lots of flowers and trees, 
A pretty little kitchen 
With rows of shining pots, 
A hothouse full of peaches 
And a nursery full of cots. 



SOMETIMES 

SOME days arc fairy days. The minute that 

you wake 
You have a magic feeling that you never 

could mistake ; 
You may not see the fairies, but you know 

that they're about, 
And any single minute they might all come 

popping out ; 
You want to laugh, you want to sing, you 

want to dance and run, 
Everything is different, everything is fun ; 
The sky is full of fairy clouds, the streets are 

fairy ways 
Anything might happen on truly fairy days. 

Some nights are fairy nights. Before you go 

to bed 
You hear their darling music go chiming in 

your head ; 

63 



54 SOMETIMES 

You look into the garden, and through the 

misty grey 
You see the trees all waiting in a breathless 

kind of way. 
All the stars are smiling ; they know that 

very soon 
The fairies will come singing from the land 

behind the moon. 
If only you could keep awake when Nurse 

puts out the light . . . 
Anything might happen on a truly fairy 

night. 



PREPARE ! 

BUNNY, bunny, smooth your fur, 

Wash your little face ; 
Dormouse, wake you up and stir 

Lest you lose your place. 
Hasten, squirrel, don't be shy 
The Queen is coming by. 

Linnets, wrens, be ready, please, 
With your sweetest notes, 

Perch among the waiting trees, 
Tune your tiny throats. 

Skylark, won't you leave the sky ? 

The Queen is coming by. 

Goblins, stop your naughty tricks, 
Hold yourselves in wait ; 

Witches, raise your besom sticks 
For an arch of state. 

Quickly, fairies, hither fly 

The Queen is coming by. 

55 



A VOYAGE 

THEY took me out a-sailing 

The boat was made of glass ; 

We sailed upon the little clouds, 

The stars came out in shining crowds 

So thick we scarce could pass. 

But feather-light through all the night 

About the sky we sped ; 

There were no oars with which to row, 

There was no tiniest wind to blow 

Though all the sails were spread. 

They took me out a-sailing 
We anchored by the moon ; 
The golden door was open wide, 
We saw a garden-ground inside 
Where it was light as noon. 

56 



A VOYAGE 57 

And fairy folk looked out and spoke : 
" Come in, come in and play ! " 
We climbed a little silver stair 
It was so beautiful in there 
I wished that I might stay. 

They took me out a-sailing 

Oh, strange the tales I heard 

Of charmed adventures in the skies 

Beyond the gaze of human eyes, 

Beyond the flight of bird. 

The stars went out, I looked about, 

I saw the dewdrops gleam 

Among the cobwebs on the lawn 

As we came home at break of dawn . . . 

It was not all a dream. 



A COMPLAINT 

YOU'VE stolen all our mushrooms ! 
When friends come in to tea 
In Fairyland it is the rule 
To offer them a satin stool ; 
The grass is often very wet 
And furniture is hard to get, 
As you must all agree. 

You've stolen all our mushrooms 
And left not one behind. 
If people came by night and day 
And took your prettiest chairs away 
And made them all into a stew 
Without so much as thanking you, 
Now would you call it kind ? 

58 



A COMPLAINT 59 

You've stolen all our mushrooms, 

And, if you don't take care, 

We'll go about the fields at night 

And paint the toadstools brown and white, 

And you'll be punished for your greed 

By being very ill indeed 

So you had best beware. 



THE FAIRIES GIVE THANKS 

To all kind folk who make delightful gar- 
dens 

Where we may live, 

Enjoying days and nights of busy leisure 
Amid devices fashioned for our pleasure, 

Our thanks we give. 

For dancing-lawns and gravelled jousting- 
l places, 

For guardian trees, 
For ferny thickets strewn with moss-grown 

mountains 

And lily-pools and waterfalls and foun- 
tains 

For all of these. 

60 



THE FAIRIES GIVE THANKS 61 

Charged are we also by our little comrades 

The gentle birds, 
That we their messages of thanks should 

bring you, 

Since they from grateful hearts can only sing 
you 

Songs without words. 



THE author's best thanks are due to the Editor and 
Proprietors of Punch, through whose courtesy she 
is able to include in this collection a number of 
verses which have already appeared in that paper. 



PRINTED BY MORRISON AND GIBB LTD., EDINBURGH 



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